Jones out to show stuff
For all his work on the defensive glass, John Jones is really ready to rebound now.
The teenage prep star turned Division I college forward says he looking forward to bouncing back for the 2012-2013 NCAA basketball and athletic seasons after sitting through the disappointment of getting redshirted [ruled ineligible to play] in his freshman year at Illinois State.
Returning home for a brief seven-day visit, Jones revealed his plans to improve drastically in an interview with NATION SPORT following a league game between home club Warriors and Lakers.
“It was a bit discouraging not being able to play games but I couldn’t let myself get too down,” said the six-foot-eight 19-year-old.
“There were some ups and downs, though, because even though I didn’t play games I thought I practised really well.”
“Of course, I didn’t play, so that was a bit disappointing but that will change next season.”
A multi-sports prodigy for the Garrison Secondary, Jones burst on to the United States scene in his lone year at Howe Military School in Indiana when footage of his inside play made the rounds across all the major Division 1 programmes.
The then 18-year-old big man made further headlines after gaining a scholarship to play for Illinois State – making him just the sixth Bajan male to be recruited to a NCAA Division 1 basketball programme.
And the future looked bright for the 250-pound star as the Redbirds also recruited him to be a major part of their athletics team.
But Jones was forced to sit out the entire season of both sports after being redshirted upon his arrival at Illinois.
Worse yet, he had to watch the Redbirds just miss out on earning an invitation to the big NCAA tournament and settle for the National Invitation Tournament after finishing an encouraging 21-12 season with an 83-79 overtime loss to Creighton.
“I can’t give any predictions about playing time but I know I’m going to be much better next season,” said Jones.
“I plan to work on a lot of defensive and offensive drills and play summer league ball somewhere. But I really plan to work on defensive rebounding because that’s where our offence starts.”